Sunday, October 21, 2012

How things went with Ricki + Check in

All right, so let's talk about how things went on Wednesday on Ricki Lake.

I'm really, really happy to report that it was an incredibly positive experience.

So, here's the story, in a nutshell.

Several weeks ago I got a voicemail from a producer of the show...
who was like "We're doing a show on mixed orientation marriage we want you to be on it blah blah blah" and I was in the car being driven home from the sexual addiction conference I went to and I was like "WOW. I just got asked to be on Ricki Lake. What does that even mean?" 

I didn't know how to respond and also I'm about as organized as a tsunami so I didn't even end up calling back. Then I got another message days later and I was like "oh, okay, they're for realz. Still not sure how I feel about this, and also isn't this a few steps shy of Jerry Springer? And also is it the 90's right now?" *checks watch*

I talked it over with Lolly and our general feeling was like... "Naaah. Thanks so much, but.... mmnnahh."

Anyway, they called again a while later and were like "we need to hear by today," and then I didn't call back (except I did leave some lame message the next day apologizing for not getting back ever). So we missed the chance, and it was like, okay, decision made. But THEN shortly thereafter I got this spiritual feeling that was like "So, you know how you got contacted by Ricki Lake and never called them back? You should do it" and I was like "but I just MISSED the opportunity! And also, Lord, you realize this is Ricki Lake, right?" But, to humor Him, I prayed and I was like "All right God, if you want me to do this, you need to make it happen in some miraculous way so I know this is for realsies" and I just left it at that. So THEN a week before the show they called again and caught me on the phone between sessions (which is a miracle in and of itself). And they pitched it. And they told me why they were doing it. And it was not as sensational as I was thinking. And they promised to treat it respectfully for a very specific reason that I won't go into because it's kind of private and about someone else. And I felt good about it. And then, suddenly, we had a flight for LA for the taping, and they even flew Lolly and the girls to go down and be with Lolly's parents several days early. (I waited till the day before so I could work, because I'm diligent like that.)

All right. Cut to: Wednesday, the day of the taping.

We got to the studio, and it was madness, but a very controlled madness. They took Lolly in to hair and makeup and I went with the girls into the dressing room (where they were going to be watched by my father-in-law.) And then I got hair and make-upped. And we got miked. And then they briefed us, and we reviewed an interview that we had done on the phone prior (which was what Ricki used to formulate her questions). And our name was on the dressing room door which I guess is kind of fun.

I'm not gonna lie, I looked kinda weird. They kinda fro-ed my hair. It's only national TV, though. So no big deal, right? (Of course Lolly looked beautiful.)

What else can I tell you?

We were acts one and two on the show, so we went out there with Ricki, and then talked until commercial, and then talked again until the next commercial. And it was... really, really awesome. Ricki was incredibly easy to talk to and really fun. She actually said something like "ya know what? What girl didn't fall in love with her gay best friend at some point. I know I did..." which was hilarious. And, I dunno, it was just cool. 

After that there were a couple of other stories. And then at the end we were called back for a question-answer session. And I was asked the first two questions. Or should I say, the first question, twice. 

I don't want to spoil the show, but I'll just say that at one point Ricki looked at one of the girls and said something like "What, and who made you the orientation police?"

Awesome. 

Anyway, the experience was really pretty amazing. The staff was awesome, and it just felt good. It felt good to connect with the audience, and it seemed as though our story resonated. And both of the other gay guests on the show (both of whom had left their wives) turned to me at some point and said something along the lines of "I want you to know that I think you guys can do this. It's clear that you have something different than what I had. You guys are authentic and honest and clearly love each other." It was really cool to hear that from both of them. 

So... now I can check "be on daytime talk show" off my bucket list, even though to do so I'd have to write it on there because, let's face it, it's never been a life dream. But it was sure a heck-of-a good experience, and I'm glad I ended up feeling like we should do it, and ended up following that feeling. 

It's already been more than a week since the last check in, so let's DO IT. I'll try and do the next one on Wednesday night (so you'll be checking in on Thursday, most likely), so this will be a short goal period.

Rules: Do not use the word "good." Check in spiritually, physically and emotionally. Make a realistic goal and report on the progress from last time. This is not therapy, and is not meant to be a replacement or supplement to actual interaction with a mental health professional. Just for fun, guys.

Physically: I went to the gym four or five times last week and so I'm feeling really good about that. I still don't have my eating under control and am trying to figure out how to not eat entire houses in one sitting. But I feel pleased with my progress and feel like I'm making progress.

Emotionally: I feel... several things at once. I feel confident in who I am and what I'm doing, but I also feel deeply fearful at times about a great many things. However, I feel very content with the things that are most important: my family, my girls, my marriage. I also feel emotionally exhausted and like I might never catch up on all that seems to be my responsibility, and I'm trying to get myself to feel okay about that as a reality. Overall, I feel like my life is still pretty out of control, but I also feel very happy for the most part.

Spiritually: I have had some pretty important spiritual insights this week that have really buoyed me up--some moments of true clarity regarding who I am, and what the crap I'm doing on this planet. I've had some very specific confirmations of parts of my Patriarchal Blessing, which is always a good thing. (It's incredible to think that I had never met the Patriarch who gave me that blessing--he discussed VERY specific things that are transpiring in my life right now with stunning accuracy.) I have felt a lot of gratitude this week--for who I am, and for the life I lead, for my good wife, for my beautiful kids. 

Goal last week was to write 10 hours in the memoir. I didn't get there. Thus, my goal this week is to hit 8 hours of writing.

All right friends, do your thing. Hope you're having an amazing Sunday.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention that I don't know when the show will air. They said they don't tell you until like three days before the air-date and it could be as far away as a month from now. So, I will definitely let you guys know the minute I know myself. 




78 comments:

  1. Checking in--

    Physically: nauseous. Ate my kids trunk or treat candy, and am feeling too sick and bloated and lazy to make a real dinner.

    Emotionally: exhausted. I have had more people in the church say bizarre things to me in the last month than in my 30 plus years in this church. Seriously, I've heard all the stories about crazy Mormons, but this month I have lived them (all the way from being told that Democrats should burn in hell to demanding that a mother write her gay daughter a letter to "take care of that situation".) It saddens and angers me.

    Spiritually: Being mad at people in the ward makes it hard to feel the spirit, and being physically exhausted makes it hard, too. Plus, my husband has a hugely demanding calling, which makes Sundays hard. This Sunday, my husband was gone for church reasons, and my kids spent from 8:30am-1:30pm at church because I still had my own meetings/obligations and there was nobody to take them home. Plus, somebody prohibited them from playing in the nursery room, where they always play when this kind of situation hits, because, and I quote, "We worked really hard to clean up the toys and we don't want anybody else messing with them." I ended up locking the kids in the van in the parking lot with the keys and HIgh School Musical on the DVD player, all the way thinking, "My family gives so much to this church and at the end of the day, I feel like we're constantly being treated like crap." And I can't help but think that for a church that talks about families so much, it sure is hard to be the wife on Sunday when your husband isn't around.

    Sundays aren't spiritual at my house, they're just hard.

    Thanks for letting me vent. I feel like these aren't the kinds of things I can share with my visiting teacher, y'know?

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    1. Your check in of your emotional state really resonated with me especially where you say:
      demanding that a mother write her gay daughter a letter to "take care of that situation".) It saddens and angers me. I have been very disturbed myself lately about the same thing considering that I have a good friend that is struggling with this right now she is 45 and never been married with no children and was told a similar thing about taking care of the situation and to "pray away the gay" I have know her know since we were kids and she has always been like this! I am also struggling with how the older singles are not given hardly any attention and they are leaving the church in droves. In my stake alone there are almost 600 people that are older singles and are completely inactive and the majority of which do not want anything to do with the Church that makes me "feel like I have failed in life because I do not have a spouse and kids" I have been on the singles committee now for almost 5 years and have fight with the leadership to make any progress for the singles. I have started doing something different these last couple of months and has really driven home the idea of how much the church culture drives away singles and gay people. I agree it saddens and angers me as well. Thanks for letting me vent as well. Your thoughts on what I just said would be appreciated Thank you

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    2. Sometimes, I think, that people (myself included) get so wrapped up in doing what their checklist says... that they forget to focus on what they are supposed to BE.

      I have never felt any pressure from the church, but I have felt it from myself when I wanted to "do a good job" or "magnify"

      I have grown to realize that the most important commandment is to love. Simply love. Even if we disagree... it isn't our job to "fix" anyone else. We all have enough beams of our own to focus on.

      I have said for years, that if members were doing it right, at least half the chapel would be full of people who smell like smoke, or who were accidentally pregnant in their teens, or who were wearing jeans and a t-shirt because that is who they are or what they can afford.

      We all spend so much time trying to appear perfect that we hope everyone is perfect too. That part isn't real.

      Life is hard and unfair and unpredictable at times. We should be able to share those things comfortably and support and comfort each other. Not smile and make casseroles for church, and cry and cry at home.

      BUT... I am seeing a slight shift. And the apostles keep saying it. So I have high hopes for us!

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    3. I try not to take what people do and say in church as personal because really we are all their for our own salvation not others. I have been in wards were you get the crazy people (and crazy talk) and then been in affluent wards were things are as they are suppose to be. People are people regardless. I myself am a spitfire so if that women had not let me into the nursery room, I would have said TOOOO BAD, I have every right to be in there. Next time that happens to you go to the bishop ask him to open it back up for you. That is plain ridiculous and I would not let that lie. Some people think that everything has to be perfect in church and life is not perfect.

      Luckily I am in a ward right now that "gets it". Just found out yesterday the stake is being reorganized and 2 new wards are being added so we will be switching wards.

      Don't get discouraged. Remember to separate peoples actions from the church. There is a difference.

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    4. I'm sorry that is your experience. I've lived in two atypical wards now where we truly come from different cultures and different socio economic circumstances and I've seen people come in jeans or "living in sin" and be embraced and welcomed. Life is better without Mormon culture getting in the way of living the gospel. I'm so sorry that you're in the thick of it. It's really hard for members who have never left the heart of Mormon culture to separate it out from what really matters.

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  2. So glad it went well! I'll try to find the taping on the internet or something, since I don't know if I could find it on TV in Canada.

    Meh, I guess I'll check in... I'm not often honest with people about how I'm feeling in real life, so I guess this is a good place for now!

    Physically: Very very sick. Long story short, there's some freaky stuff going on. I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which basically means I fully or partially dislocate many of my joints many times a day, but lately, there's been other weird stuff going on. Like, the other day, my legs just gave out. I can walk a bit, but I look like I'm drunk. They're all cold and tingly and painful, and keep involuntarily twitching - some little, some big enough that my leg kicks for no reason. And I have this shooting pain that keeps stabbing through my right eyeball, along with a pressure headache. I already had a doc app for Thursday, but I might try to go sooner. And of course, there's the hypothyroidism, asthma, ADHD, postural hypotension... and everything not diagnosed so far, haha. I feel like a walking (well, something), talking, medical dictionary.

    Emotionally: drained. I'm generally a pretty positive person, but my health is really taking a toll on my emotions. I'm in college full time and just got a job, so I really don't know how I'm going to do it all, or even any of it now, without becoming a big puddle of weeping Sarah, haha. It's just a lot to handle for being 18, or any age, really.

    Spiritually: unsure. I've been raised as a Christian my whole life, but I've fallen away from it in the last few years. Church has been pretty awful in my experience, and I don't feel comfortable there. And I want to know God is out there, but He feels so distant. Not really sure how I feel about everything.

    Thanks for your check-in opportunities, it really helps. Take care!

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  3. That is so cool, Josh. I really love your blog and I have so much fun reading it! It's pretty awesome that you could be on tv. You really do have a pretty cool purpose in life, and I think you're doing wonderful things.
    I have a blog that I'd be honored if you read. I know you're busy, but I'd love it if you could look at it. It started as a personal progress project, and has grown into an amazing way to share my testimony. It's growing so big. This summer some stories from it got published in a book. And this last week, Deseret News contacted me and wants to do an article about me! It's pretty cool! Here's the url: www.mormon-teen.blogspot.com .
    Thanks for your wonderful influence in cyberspace!

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  4. Josh, you're amazing. Love you bro

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  5. I'm glad that the other gay guests on the show said those amazing things about your marriage.
    I was on a website where a guy mentioned you and said "I used to be Josh Weed." He was saying he was in a MOM, which went well for some years, and then went bad. His implication was that it'll be the same for JOsh Weed.
    I was so mad after reading that!
    I wrote a comment to him along the lines of "how dare you make predictions about someone else's life like that! Just because your life has one story, doesn't mean everyone else's story is the same>"

    "I want you to know that I think you guys can do this. It's clear that you have something different than what I had."
    Really awesome.

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  6. Physically: I just ate a bunch of Sugar Babies, so... my stomach is being disagreeable. BUT, I had a good solid work out four times this week, which is better than last week. I did barefoot running one day and my legs were not completely shredded the following day like they usually are when I do it. So... hallelujah to my leg muscles getting stronger. And I'm not tired. So today is a good (whoops) day for physical me.

    Emotionally: I'm bueno (I'm finding all sorts of ways to get around using the g-o-o-d word). Just kidding. But seriously, I am doing well (<--Ha! I did it again!). I had to give a talk this morning in church and as I get anxiety about speaking in front of audiences, I'm just glad its over. Hooray for that.

    Spiritually: As I said, I had to give a talk this morning, and it was on conversion. I learned a lot in preparing that talk, and I'm grateful I had the opportunity to do so.

    Goal last week was to hang out with people other than husband. I forced myself to go to the pool with two of my mom-friends (I'm not a mom, at least not yet). It was fun, and I'm glad I went. I also had a goal to workout at least 4-5 times and to do the most I could do. I did it. Goal this week is to serve someone else in need.

    PS Congrats on the Ricki Lake show. Glad it was a good experience. Keep us posted on when they're planning to air it!

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  7. Physically: I'm recovering from an ankle surgery I had 5 weeks ago. I've been trying to control my food intake and trying to do what exercise I can. Hopefully I'll be walking this friday if all goes well.

    Emotionally: It's been a bit of a roller coaster. I've been off of meds for about two months now and I'm not quite stable without them. I keep going through depressive cycles. I'm also freaking out about grad school.

    Spiritually: I relapsed this last week so it's been hard to recover. I've been working towards being worthy of the Spirit again and trying to read my scriptures more. I missed church today because I didn't feel well.

    Goals: Meet my exercise goals, stick to my diet, talk to my advisers about school, and hopefully take the sacrament next sunday.

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  8. Cool deal about the Lake show. The DVR is set to tape all new episodes until after your show airs....

    P-tired...long several months due to chronic headaches....major yard work HAD to be done yesterday so today I'm wiped! Thank heaven for awesome nephews who helped out.

    E-pretty darn great. Attended fabulous stake conf. Meetings last night and today. Feeling happy and at peace with life, the universe, and everything

    S-not too shabby...see the need for a little improvement after recent conf.

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  9. I haven't commented before, but I read your stuff starting with your big reveal. I am totally straight and don't understand same sex-attraction...because I've never had it, but I truly admire you and Lolly. I just want you to know that what you are doing is positive for both the gay community and the LDS church. (I'm a 10 year convert)
    I too think you can make it. My brother suffered from ADD and Bipolar (which I know has been sort of dis-proven now)so I do understand that part of your life. Hang tough Josh! Keep writing.

    Nothing more than that to say. Just wanted you to know that someone you'll probably never meet in Arkansas is inspired by you.

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  10. When will you be on Ricki Lake?

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    1. Excellent question--I put an update on the post, but short answer is I don't know. But I'll def. let you all know when I get word.

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  11. Have to say you look really great in that pic...you thought they fro'ed your hair too much? I think its a good look. You both look fab, can't wait to see it!

    Bobi
    http://westernwarmth.blogspot.com

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    1. I totally agree! I like that hair style!

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  12. I'm really excited to see you two on this new Ricki show! I remember another talk show years ago (I so wish I could find the taping and research it and have a follow-up with the couple) where a very young couple was in love and wanted to marry. Only problem was he was gay. He had had relations with men previously and so because of that the audience was mostly dead set against them. They were obviously in love and the audience was just hammering them, most adamantly the other gay men there. I do believe in having your eyes wide open before marriage especially in a MOM but not at the expense of faith and authentic love. No marriage is guaranteed to last 20+ years to eternity and I (and some anonymous person?) say it's better to have loved and lost than never to have given a true love it's due chance. I'm a product of heterosexual divorce and I would never say to my parents "I wish you had never met and found love and a beautifully profound gospel (LDS) and did the best you could and been human, because your divorce hurt me." yeah it hurt. Ripped the veil of naïveté and innocence from my eyes. Wished they could've worked it out but God's made the best of the worst many times before and he did it again. All for our experience- every person affected by it, that is.

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  13. Congratulations, Josh and Lolly! Can't wait to see the show. It sounds like you had an amazing experience. I'm going to check in, but really quickly:

    "And we got miked. And then they briefed us, and we reviewed..." I just woke up from a Sunday nap which I'm sure explains how I groggily read that line, "And we got milked. And then they breastfed us, and we reviewed..."

    Yep.

    On to the checkin!

    Physically: Hubby and I got a positive pregnancy test about a week and a half ago! Which means two things: 1) Ridiculous amounts of excitement and 2) Ridiculous amounts of nausea. Luckily no barfing (yet) but I have felt a little too connected to the story you tell about the fateful early morning run you took a while back. I try to never be further than five steps from a bathroom at all times. TMI?

    Emotionally: TERRIFIED of things to come in this pregnancy because of how hard my first was. (Hypermisis. Google it and feel incredibly sorry for me) I keep wavering between confidence that this one will be different and crippling fear that it will be exactly the same. Also, I'm so happy to be able to bring another life into our family I can hardly see straight. I cry all the time. Gotta love them hormones.

    Spiritually: A little more connected today! I enjoyed church this morning and (despite the fact that my 14 month old son peed on me so badly I had to drive all the way home to change us both) I got a lot out of my meetings. I'm the primary chorister and we're working on the primary program. It never ceases to amaze me what sweet, sweet spirit children have. I absolutely love my calling.

    Goal: My last goal was to read the scriptures every day. I think I made it about 3 out of 7. Let's go for 5 our of 7 this time. Woo hoo! (Also, I want to continue my morning walks which have been going fabulously and I have a secret hope that they will stave my nausea away somehow.)

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    1. I also read it as "milked" at first... but you might have a bit more of an excuse, what with the pregnancy and all. Hope that all goes for the best and not a repeat of last time, and I'll take your word for it that Hypermisis is bad, I feel for you. Best of luck with your reading and exercising.

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  14. Ooo a check in:
    P- I get exhausted as I 'perform' social responsibilities where all eyes are on me. I LOVE my calling, but being in front of many sometimes is like stepping in front of a running train. at least that's how it feels for me. Other times I am as cool as a cucumber. See for me, emotionally charged situations can really tire me physically. But I've always made myself do hard things. Cuz it makes me stronger. Really. Some people it may destroy, but for me it makes me somehow more humble AND stronger at the same time. I also like pushing myself physically. Ran a 5k with my honey for the first time (first time together) and we got through it together. Even with zombies all around. There's a deep allegory for life and marriage there I'm sure...

    E- Spent, but at peace too. So many things happening at once: financial distress, dear in-law dying of cancer, relationship hurdle cleared (but 'muscle' pulled in the process), new prospects in self and career development that once again stretch me uncomfortably but give me new zeal and purpose in helping others.

    S- our Sunday School teacher asked us to share any experiences with the scriptures that affected our testimonies. I did not share because I suddenly became overwhelmed with how many sweet experiences I've had. I've been letting my scriptures play second fiddle to other spiritual reading. It's all very good and enlightening but nothing comes close to what I feel when I open my heart and read the words of Christ. even when I've read the same words before there are times when "old things become new" and I see a clearer way out of the connundrums of life.

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  15. I never comment on here, but I've watched you do these check ins for a while and love the idea...so here goes:
    Physically: Doing alright. I didn't have to work my graveyard shift this weekend so I don't feel completely out of whack. I have indulged in way too many sweets, but am looking forward to getting back to work tomorrow and exercising again.
    Emotionally: Feeling pretty depressed these days. It comes and goes, and right now I feel like I'm sliding into a deep depression. I am trying to take the steps I know I need to, but it's hard to have the motivation to do anything at times.
    Spiritually: Usually I struggle with this aspect of my life. But I saw my mission president on Friday, and have been on a spiritual high ever since! My depression makes it hard for me to feel the Spirit and want to do the spiritual things I know I need to do, but I feel good about my efforts today--including attending all of church.
    Goal: Talk to my doctor about restarting meds this week.

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  16. Can't wait to see the show! I hope it airs soon.

    Physical: Well, I'd been hoping for another weekor so, but had an complication arise and had to be induced at 37 weeks on the nose. So I'm recovering from an intense birth, but cuddling with a healthy baby boy!

    Emotional: Humbled and in awe. Oddly content with life despite the fact my birth "plans" weren't even close to what actually happened.

    Spiritual: I've never been so grateful to Heavenly Father for His constant care! I have no doubt that He was watching out for us throughout my pregnancy and the birth of our son. I had a partial placental abruption, and what could have been a tragic situation was not, and I am incredibly grateful for that miracle.

    Commitment: didn't get to last weeks. I was a tad preoccupied. ;) So this week I'll catch up on Conference like I'd wanted to and I'll read my scriptures everyday. :)

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  17. Physically: Pretty awesome. I started a thing with friends, we are only allowed to eat refined sugars on the weekends, so that helped get my eating under control. I over ran on thursday and my foot started acting up again, so I backed off for the weekend and now its fine. I feel like I am getting eating and exercise stuff in balance. Still need to work on getting enough sleep, but I had a fun weekend without it.

    Emotionally: Pretty dang awesome. I no longer feel over whelmed or exhausted, I feel ready for the week, and I think that is mainly due to ...

    Spiritually: Amazing!!! I went to the temple with a friend last night, and we had a good talk on the hour and a half drive there and back. I talked to her about some of my struggles, she talked about hers, and then I was able to help her with a concern she had about her brother. So emotionally and spiritually this was awesome. Also, I walked into the temple and almost imediately I was overwhelmed with the feeling that God knows me so well, and loves me so much, I just felt incredibly loved and accepted and secure, and honestly that is what I have needed the most, and probably why I feel awesome about everything right now.

    Goal for next week: finish my homework. I've avoided it

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  18. This is SUCH a great idea and I need it right now. I am going to set goals for next week and will report back. I know I need to get back in counseling too. At times I have felt suicidal and at other times I have felt that I am so ugly and don't want to leave my house. The crazy thing is others have told me without me even asking how beautiful I am but I don't feel that way. I have a lot of abuse to heal from and keep having panic attacks and I believe I have ADD too. Thank you for your blog. I wish I knew you and Lolly. What wonderful people you are. I am LDS but I don't have any family that is. I feel alone a lot of the time and I haven't had the chance to marry yet. Anyway thank you for your blog. It gives me hope that maybe one day things will get better. But I know I need to make it better.

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  19. Checking in- Maybe it's just me but I feel like half my ward doesn't like me because I'm different. I'm very vocal, honest, and weird (I love bats and collect dragons for example). Anyway, it feels awful, and I know I shouldn't care what others think, it's hard not to sometimes. I invited most of primary to my son's 8th birthday party and only 2 showed up, it was even a pool party, and a lot of people skipped his baptism, though there were a lot of people there. I have to try to be more positive. The election has made people cranky. I told people I wasn't going to vote for Romney just for the sole reason he's LDS, that didn't go over well with some. I've known people with a temple recommend and they were awful people, there's always the ones that make everyone else look bad. Look, I go to church for myself, but better fellowship would be nice. I will never be a stepford mormon, couldn't ever live in utah, am just myself, anything else would be a lie. I just feel weary, not feeling any spiritual uplifts, just going day by day. I do have to say that I found a new Dr, instead of going to a GP for depression and anxiety I finally went to a shrink. He told me my meds were all wrong, he gave me the right ones, so I'm feeling a lot better! My husband is great, he always tells me Jesus wasn't popular either and he was considered weird too, lived on the wrong side of the tracks, that makes me feel not alone.

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    2. It so different in each ward. I have been in wards were I feel the same and other's were they are great (I have moved around ALOT). I am also very vocal too and sometimes it gets me in trouble. I fact I cause a big stir in my ward recently because I didn't like what the YW president did to me and another sister in the ward. Then I think to myself, we are all human and the members are so not perfect, I need to give her the benefit of the doubt because she is young and learning to be christlike too. All these experiences I have whether good or bad, mold and shape me into who I want to be and how I will handle things myself if I am in a position like that. Good luck to you. Big hugs!! :)

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  20. Off topic, but I am wondering if you (Josh) are planning to respond to the last FAQ. I check your blog about 10 times a day hoping to see your response.

    Obviously, you have been very, very busy. And, of course, you don't "owe" us an answer to any question.

    Just wondering if I need to let it go, or patiently wait :)

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  21. Josh, I can't tel you how much I enjoy this blogg. I feel connected on so many levels with you and your life. Thanks!!!

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  22. Check-in.

    Physically: fantastic! I have finally come to terms with the fact that I have a carbohydrate intolerance that makes eating sugar and bread and pasta and everything yummy taboo. I used to treat my hypoglycemia episodes from a reactionary standpoint, but now I just prevent then by avoiding the foods that make me sick and crazy. I have been diligent in eating low-carb and so far this year I've felt great and lost 22lbs. I sometimes feel a bit "trendy" when I tell people I don't eat carbs, since they all think its for weight-loss purposes. But the bottom line is that I don't have those lovely moments of psycho hunger anymore. My mind is more clear and functional and I am able to cope with stress much better.

    Emotionally: fantastic! Completely healed from the latest broken heart. Learned some wonderful things about myself and relationships and I feel totally comfortable with who I am and where I am. I received a text from one of my former Mia Maids (14-15 yo girls I taught at church) that told me how much of an impact for the better I had on her life. That made me feel pretty much awesome.

    Spiritually: fantastic! I get to teach 16-17 year olds in Sunday School. They are such an example to me! They have such great insights and wonderful strength. Yesterday and last week we had really really good class participation and the Spirit was palpable. I love studying the scriptures each week and then having those spritually brilliant youth expound. Personally, I've had wonderful peace in the last three months. My heart is healed and happy, and I know that I am in the right place at the right time.

    On a separate note, I was at a single adult conference fireside last night where the speaker actually talked about same sex attraction. She spoke with such love and kindness and empathy. When I thanked her afterwards for her comments, she said that she believes that this is one of the hardest trials that a person can experience and that, since God doesn't give us anything we can't handle, this experience is given to the strongest and most awesome of God's children. I immediately thought of Josh and Lolly and their strength and courage. Thanks for being positive influences on all communities, gay, straight, religious, non-religious. Y'all are awesome.

    Life is wonderful and I am happy.

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    2. My SIL and my mom are doing Paleo together, and it is doing wonderful things for them! I'm talking to my hubby about getting on it too. My brother (married to the SIL doing Paleo) and I are def not the body type that needs Paleo, so it's tricky, but I'm really impressed with the outcome for those who need it.

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  23. Check-in

    Physically- Meh. I've been so tired recently. I think it's related to how I am emotionally. I still haven't been to the gym because I just can't seem to face meeting new people yet again. But I am going today to check out the gym across the street.

    Emotionally- Last week was VERY hard anxiety-wise. It completely drained me. Then I went to church on Sunday (goal was to try attending a church in my town) and it was . . . meh. Afterwards I was just so emotionally drained from meeting all of the new people. I just wish that I could get past this, you know?

    Spiritually- So-so. I am feeling pretty connected to God, but I am disappointed that I didn't really care for the church I went to on Sunday. I prayed about whether to go to one church (I'll call it the Community church) or another one (I'll call it the Meets at the High School) church. Big resounding silence there. So I went to Community, and naturally I went on the first day of their big giving campaign so the sermon was about giving money. Which made me feel like I was in a Stuff Christians Like post. Everyone was really friendly, but I am just having so much trouble finding a place I feel at home. I live in a rural community, but commute to a big city, so I'm not exactly the normal demographic of my area. Added to that is that I grew up in a mainline church, but I didn't connect at all with the local Episcopal church, so I am trying out more evangelical churches (which I'm not really aligned with politically, but I like the contemporary worship) and I just feel like the odd man out.

    Wow, that was really long and rambly.

    Goal from now until Thursday is to get my butt to the gym at least once, and ask some partners at my firm for work (I'm really slow on work, which isn't helping my anxiety).

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    1. I relate to your anxiety and just wanted to shout out YOU ARE NOT ALONE. And of it gets to a place where it is simply too much to handle... you always have the miracle of modern medicine :)

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    3. Have you ever thought of trying out the Mormon church (wink) just a thought. :)

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  24. I just want to say that, when I read Josh's post, where he said "And then we got miked," I totally read that as "And then we got MILKED." And I was like, "what?" And then I re-read it and STILL saw MILKED, and I was like, "WHAT!?! Is that some shobiz term?" And then I re-re-read it and realized it said "miked" and calmed down. That's all.

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  25. Physically-I hurt all over. I have had the flu/cold/creepy crudds for 4 days.
    Emotionally-feeling like a failure of a mother because I cannot get my 2 1/2 year old potty trained.
    Spiritually-feeling abandoned.

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    2. Tammy's right! I didn't get my daughter potty trained until after she was 3, and even then it was more like she was just ready, and I didn't really do much training. You are TOTALLY not a failure!

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    3. Most people these days do not potty train their kids at 2.5. It's not worth the frustration. Just clip your diaper coupons and let potty training happen when it happens. In the mean time, don't hesitate to hurl diaper bombs at people who are too eager to recount how early they potty trained their child (back in the 1950s). Sometimes people need a little reminder to not share so much.

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  26. Well, congratulations on surviving a Daytime Talk Show, still have hope that hammer pants come into play, but I fear this hope is vain.

    Physically: Tired, but in a healthy way. Maybe it wasn't the best way to spend Sunday, but this weekend was spent exploring Lake Titicaca, climbing hills on islands well above an elevation I am accustomed to, but the long trip (by van and boat) was well worth it. My legs hurt a little, and my eyes are thoroughly bloodshot, but I'm comfortable. So tired, but happy.

    Emotionally: Happy, a bit worried, but excited for the new week and all that could happen. No doubt this shall pass, but for now a pleasant edge of euphoria borders my mind. The worried part is for a friend whose life has fallen apart around him, but I have the utmost faith that he will do fine, just never sure how to be helpful... oh well.

    Spiritually: A bit remorseful for having missed Church, and falling behind in study and meaningful prayer. However, I don't feel as though I'm drifting as I often do, and the incredible beauty I witnessed over the past few days, not to mention the people I have met, have filled me with hope for something greater, and a greater appreciation for the love and care put into the creation of this world. The thunderstorm last night brought to mind the words of "How Great Though Art" or however that hymn is named. Well, I think I have rambled enough for this part, on with the show!

    Goal: Last week's goal was to beat a cold, which I did with hands down, perhaps the fastest I've ever done it, though it lasted two days longer then planned. This week... Study for tests! I never do it, so this time I will, that and find a way to help my friend feel better about himself and quit smoking! Should be fun.

    Tchau!

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    2. It could have been worse, at least you don't have the Animaniacs' Song about the lake running through your head... and if you do... I'm sorry. As it stands, I don't think you should repress your 5 year old self, it is child cruelty!

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  27. I'm glad the interview went well! There's no way I would EVER be able to do that.

    Checking in....

    Physically: Tired and hot. It's finally started to cool down here and is even raining *gasp*. I'm physically tired because I'm emotionally tired. Plus, being a 30 year old in a 58 year old woman's body is crappy.

    Emotionally: Tanked. I went to the Dr. on Friday and we are going to retest my neurotransmitter levels and see if they are out of whack. I'm almost hoping they are because that would explain the sudden onset of depression (which I've dealt with basically my whole life). I am still super stressed with my Husband's job search (although he had a REALLY good interview last week) and church callings (good news on that front is the two people I've been having problems with at church-they should never, ever have a position of power again-have been released). I hate this time of year, too many birthdays and functions to deal with (including my birthday and my Husband's birthday 6 days apart).

    Spiritually: Lacking. I wish it was general conference every weekend :-) I am having a big issue with our ward and certain people in it. I realize that it is up to me to get something spiritually out of church and that I need to ignore the other humans (that seem to make my life a living hell) but it's really hard for me to do. I'm just chugging along wondering when we'll be blessed with children (through foster care since I have no uterus) and why God would give other people children but not us. Right now, I believe it's because I'm crazy. Certifiably, my Mom had me tested.

    Goal: I failed last weeks goal of not stressing out over my calling. Luckily, my awesome Husband helped me not beat my computer up (I broke the hard drive when I whacked it last time) and everything worked out. New goal this week is to get my Visiting Teaching done. I HATE visiting teaching and because our ward (should be a branch) is so stinking small I have to visit people by myself. People always volunteer to go with me but I hate asking people. Sigh.

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  28. Anxiously awaiting the date your interview airs. I don't watch talk shows so I'm not even sure what channel it's on in the Seattle area, but I'll have to search the cable guide.

    Checking in...

    Physically - This week I am doing better (well, except for my stomach, but I think that's due to eating cold pizza, even if it was homemade). I think I'm adjusting a bit to the blood pressure medicine the doctor put me on and I've gotten over all the immunizations I got. Oh, and my mammogram came back with no change from last time so another year of dodging the bullet. My sciatica's flaring this afternoon, but I stuck a Salonpas patch on my low back and it's helping me get through today.

    Emotionally - Neither up nor down.

    Spiritually - I made it to church this Sunday, despite having babysat the grandson on Saturday. Glad I went because it was Ward Conference and our stake president gave a good talk in sacrament meeting and our stake relief society president gave a wonderful lesson, too, about what it means to be an LDS woman today. She had us watch a portion of a video from a CES fireside given by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland in September 2012. You know what an awesome speaker he is. Never minces words. And the quote that stands out is "You NEVER check your religion at the door. Not EVER." It was good to be reminded of what I am. For anyone who has not seen this this fireside, here's the link: http://www.lds.org/media-library/video/ces-firesides?lang=eng&id=2008-09-04-lessons-from-liberty-jail#2008-09-04-lessons-from-liberty-jail

    Goals for the week (or commitments, if you prefer) - Read the Sunday school assignment for next week BEFORE Sunday (we're on lesson 40). Get enough sleep. Make more progress on all my knitting and crochet projects that I've got going for Christmas presents. There's only two months left (GAAH!!). Call the visiting teachers in my district to see if they've done their visiting teaching yet.

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    1. Ack...scratch that link. It is not for the correct video. I actually can't find that one, even though I know it's there (my Google Fu is failing me on LDS.org). I'll post a correct one if I can find it.

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    2. Oh, I found it!! It was a CES Devotional on September 9th, 2012, "Israel, Israel, God is Calling."

      http://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/ces-devotionals/2012/01/israel-israel-god-is-calling?lang=eng

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    3. LOL, I was reading your first post and I thought, "hmmm, I love that vidoe...Lesssons from LIberty Jail, but I don't remember that quote" Now I get it

      As a fellow knintter...good luck with your projects!

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  29. My check in:

    Physically, I'm feeling tired and sore. Completed my first half marathon over the weekend. I'm in the best shape of my adult life!

    Emotionally, I'm feeling like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders now that I got through the race. I'm happy with my life. My husband and children brighten my day.

    Spiritually, I'm feeling frustrated. I'm in a calling where I don't feel like I belong.

    Goals, I want to run two times this week. Don't want to lose the momentum I've got going. I also want to read 2 conference talks or articles from the Ensign.

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  30. Did you delete my question, Josh? I don't know because I didn't check. In case it merely didn't post for some reason (and this has happened) I asked: If you had told Ricki Lake (and maybe you did) that part of the reason you never pursued a gay relationship is because you feel that God is against it, do you think it would still have been such a positive experience? And if you didn't happen to mention that to her, I'm curious as to why not.
    Now I get that you may have deleted this because you see it as contentious. I am not trying to be actually. I just genuinely wonder how Ricki would have dealt with knowing that - she is a rather huge gay icon.

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    1. You would be able to see if he deleted it. It would show your name still and below it say that the comment has been removed by a blog administer. So I'm guessing it didn't post:)

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  31. I will have to check out the show when it airs.

    Physically: exhausted, beyond exhausted... trying to deal with time zone differences is kicking my butt

    Emotionally: rough. My mom died on Saturday after being a pretty much a vegetative state for the last year. It is a blessing but dealing with all the funeral stuff and dealing with my siblings I am reminded why I live 4000 km away. I am also missing my husband and son so that makes it even harder.

    Spiritually: pretty good actually. Yes, I used that "good" word. I just finished writing my talk for my mom's funeral. I spent some time talking with my niece about her mother's death (21 years ago) and the experiences that we have had since then. So i have to say that spiritually, I am doing good.

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  32. Physically- Meh. Been trying to work out and get healthy but I really don't want to eat better. Thus the 'meh', one really doesn't work without the other. No glass of wine (or rather tequila shot) for me at the end of a long day. So I pour a large glass of junk and eat it spitefully and happily all at the same time. Acid reflux is awful, need to get different meds. All of that said, my body is fully functioning and for that I am incredibaly greatful for!
    Emotionally- Pretty great! I am so happy to say that, it's been a looong time coming and I'm so excited to feel... at peace with myself and my life at this point. Kiddos are a big part of that, I love being a mom! I'm less drained than I used to be at the end of the day. :)
    Spiritually- Have < that to attribute to the excellent emotional status. Definitely could do a better job of nurturing my spirituality, but I have had so very many amazing spiritual experiences lately and I just want them to keep coming! Love where I am spiritually, and it only took about 30 years. ;)
    Thanks for this Josh! I have done a check-in before but then just erased it. This time, why not?

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  33. Josh, honestly I didn't know Ricky Lake was still on!! But congratulations on all your success. I hadn't been by your blog in a while so I'm excited to see how much it's grown! Let us know when/where the show will air.

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  34. I feel encouraged that you, too, are disorganized and yet are swirling away in your little disorganized tornado and still making progress and doing good and achieving goals. Seeing your progress helps me realize that I'm moving forward and getting stuff done and making a difference... just not in a tidy, alphabetized, perfectly organized way I think I should be. Thanks for that.

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  35. Physically: I have had a pretty bad headache for quite a while now that I believe comes from the combination of intense stress and exhaustion. I have had it for quite some time now to the point where I do not remember the last time I did not have a headache--maybe it was before this semester began? At least it is nearly halfway over.

    Emotionally: My emotions are still on a roller coaster, but for the most part, I am really doing a lot better emotionally. Now that my big group editing project is done and that monkey is off my back, it has helped a lot. However, my classes are doing a terrible job of keeping me aware of my grades. I am not sure if teachers are behind on grading or if grades are just not being posted. Either way, I am not feeling very secure about this semester. I need a lot of order in order to feel secure, and the only order I have is deadlines. Because midterm grade deadlines have been done away with, I have less information at this point in my semester than I ever have before. Each good grade brings smiles to my face, but each bad grade sends me into a fit of self-loathing and despair.

    Spiritually: I have fallen even lower, spiritually. I failed a religion quiz this week despite doing my best, and as a result of that, my confidence is completely shaken. This course material is not very convert friendly, and as such, this class is causing me to inferior. I'm not certain I will ever reach the understanding my classmates have, and I no longer want to try. I'm doing my best to keep pushing through in the hope that, once this stressful semester is over, everything will fall into place again.

    Commitment from last time: Setting the goal really helped me this time. I caught up on all of the previous homework I was behind on, except for one reading assignment from the very first week of the semester that I easily wrote off as “never going to happen” after completing the only exam covering that unit. Unfortunately, in the push to finish my group project for Monday, I fell desperately behind again. I'm trying to claw my way back to the top, and I am making progress a little bit at a time. At this point, I am miraculously only behind in two out of my five classes.

    Commitment for this week: Since after getting caught up I quickly fell behind again, I will try to set a realistic goal of catching up in just one of those two classes. If I can do that and continue compartmentalizing, I should be able to truly get caught up (barring any unexpected major projects).

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  36. Physically: hurting. i've had kidney stones trying to pass over the past few days and they are not pleasant at all. thankfully i've been able to deal with them without having to go to the hospital thanks to essential oils & lemon juice.

    emotionally: disconnected. this is my struggle in life i think. i'm a friend hoarder and have a ton of friends, but i typically end up feeling very alone.
    spiritually: okay. i feel that i can help people on a spiritual level, but have a hard time applying it to my own life. i do what i'm supposed to, but sometimes i just feel a void.

    commitment for this week: try to connect emotionally. try to slow down and not be filled with constant distractions.

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  37. Physically: Blessedly in health. No colds, no major pains. I'm tired but there's nothing new about that one.

    Emotionally: confused and all over the map. At one moment I can be as calm as can be. The next I'm frantic. The next I'm content with where I am. The next I'm painfully lonely. The man that I have loved is avoiding me, though I don't think he actually wants to, and I'm not sure why (though I have my guesses). It's been like this for a month. Before this we didn't have a major problem that I can think of and the last month or two prior was very good and promising. So to have him suddenly vacate after 6 months of communicating/seeing each other in some fashion at least once a week....it's disorienting. But I also trust him. I assume he has a number of reasons that are legitimate.

    Spiritually: Just fine. He's keeping me going to be honest and keeping me steady at that. When I feel calme it generally entails his guidance and care. I reached a point the other day after badgering and bemoaning to simply ask him what I need to do to be a better me. Wha He expects of me, etc. It was illuminating

    Commitment for this week: Go to the temple fto do endowments. Felt like I should for about 2 or so weeks.

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  38. LOVE the "for realsies" and "...because I'm diligent like that" OH-EM-GEEE YOU CRACK ME UUUP!!!! Thanks for the laugh today. =) We appreciate it all the way in Hawaii!

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  39. I agree back to the 90's I didn't even know Ricki was still around, I'm gonna vaporize and watch the show later lol

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    1. she was gone for a while...now shes back this year

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  40. Physically: Dang my weight keeps climbing. I need to get my butt into shape. But why do I put it off every day. hmm. I think the reason I keep gaining weight is I stopped bitting my nails, but replaced it with eating. grrr. So tomorrow I plan on going to the Y and starting this process of getting my weight life in order.

    Emotionally: I feel good this week for the most part. I do hate that my teenage boys are way to sassy with me. They have been lying to me more then normal so I am grounding, taking life away from for a while until they start behaving. I hate doing this to them but I have decided it's gone to far with their lies. TEENAGERS!! GAWHHHHH School is going good for me, in fact my instructor keeps on sending me notes that she think I should go to graduate school after I am done... don't know why she keeps strongly urging me to do that but she is. This is the 3rd note she has given me when she grades my assignments. I have a 99% in all 3 of my classes this semester. School makes me emotionally happy. lol.

    Spiritually: I feel good spiritually, I have been watching a conference talk a night and it has been good. Although I will admit I can only get through about 1/2- 3/4 of it because I fall asleep EVERY time i try to watch one. :) I found out this week our stake is reorganizing so I will be in a new ward in 2 weeks which is exciting and scary. I wonder what calling I will get and am willing to serve and give what i can. I need to get my butt to the temple with my hubby. That is definitely a goal of mine for this next 2 weeks.

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  41. Physically yearning and emotionally pissedoff! For the same reason. Why does everyone have Halloween candy but me?!

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  42. Physically: My blood pressure keeps haunting me, so I have a goal to lose some more weight. But this might be a little tricky with all the holidays coming in. Baby started to get up once during the night, so I still get enough sleep, if I just weren’t spending my evenings behind the computer…
    Emotionally: I have had a rough two weeks. I’ve been disappointed in some people while showing my vulnerability. So I’m still debating myself if this is really the course I want to take in relationship with others. It seems to me that I’m better off not showing it. It keeps hurt feelings at the minimum. And I really, really miss the Weeds. I know this might sound stupid, but I feel as if I haven’t seen my best friend for some time.
    Spiritually: Just had an amazing last few days. God is pouring some pretty good knowledge into my head, which was btw, really needed. Now I just need to use it in real life, that’s all.


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  43. Physically: A wreck. I've been on a medical LOA from work since March with degenerative disc dz. It has cost my family quite a bit, and no fix in sight. Last weekend I started an episode of post-menapausal bleeding. Had an endometrial biopsy on Tuesday. Found out Friday I have to have a D&C; it is hyperplasia, probably benign. Finally only have soreness in my left big toe after my first episode of gout 3 weeks ago. I'd like to get healthy and go back to work.
    Emotionally: In bad shape. My husband left me in late July for stupid things that aren't current. We are in counseling, but most of the time I feel I'm settling because...I don't want to die alone.
    Spiritually: I feel overlooked and insignificant. Could be that turn-about is fair play since I've ignored God for years.
    Goals for this week: Stop cheating by smoking at all. I quit in June. Does that still count if I slip and have one on occasion?

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  44. Sure love this BLOG and appreciate the thoughtful conversations taking place. In reference to the "check-in" comments, it is clear that there are alot of people out there hurting, physically & emotionally and also spiritually, therefore, I complement you Josh on your insight to start this weekly process as it has obviously turned out to be an opportunity for people to sort through their stuff (for lack of a better word), and to share their thoughts and feelings which is almost always a good and therapeutic thing. Josh, you are definitely an inspired and compassionate person as you have managed to turn your blog (which is ABOUT YOU) to a blog that is about others, and helps others. THX

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  45. So happy that you had a positive experience and that you can now mark that off your bucket list. I look forward to watching the episode when it airs. Best wishes!!

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  46. Emotionally - I let some people go out of my life that were not respecting me. It is super hard for me to let people go. I have had some very difficult nights. I suffer from anxiety and depression and at times I do have suicidal thoughts. I found out that 10 tylenol PMs won't kill you but I still couldn't sleep either. I don't really want to die. I just don't want to exist in the amount of pain I am in.

    Physically: I think I am having major hormone issues. I guess that is tied to my emotional health too. I have been sick and struggling with endometriosis, fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease, asthma and other issues. Being in so much physical pain doesn't help me emotionally either.

    Spiritually: I pray a lot. I need to work on reading my scriptures. I listened to part of the Time Out For Women free broadcase on deseret books website. I think it is free to stream until November 1st or something like that. One talk on forgiveness was just what I needed to hear. I thought I had done a great job of forgiving others and I have to a certain degree. I need to learn to forgive myself though too and forgive those who I feel abandoned me. Including my dad. Also I need to fully forgive those who sexually assaulted me. I deeply love the Savior and I am grateful for the mercy He so freely gives. I want to be more and more like Him every day.

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  47. Hi, My name is Dorothy and I just watched the Ricki show. I sware this was aired for me! I have no one to talk to because no one seems to understand. I, too, am gay. Have been all my life, before I knew anything about boy girl stuff. I am also married to a man, second marriage, but the first had other problems which contruted to its end. I have 4 children. I have also acted on my gay emotions, yet felt guilty. My family have not accepted it. I am also Mormon. I joined the church and was open about my beliefs. In turn I had to talk to the local president on the subject. I didn't lie, but I did just repeat what I was ask, "I believe the Church thinks being homosexual is a sin". My son is very much into the church, he went on his mission and now married with 4 children of his own. I don't attend and haven't for years. I truely need someone to talk to that won't criticize me and demoralize me on the subject. The gay community won't accept me because I'm married to a man. I feel that who you are has nothing to do with what you do. As a child being innocent I loved girls. Held their hands on the way to church and just adored several. My first love was a teacher. I wrote her a love letter in 5th grade and found that I was in deep trouble for it. Led to a confrance with my mom and I was put in another class. I remember going to a PTA meeting with my dad and when he met the teacher I just went on and on about how beautiful she was...he only said she's nice. For me it's natural, for the world I'm wrong and a sin. I am now nearly 60 years old. I love my husband very much. He understands me and I am so thankful for that. But need someone to talk to about this, for there is no one that I know of that can or will. Thank you so much for airing on Ricki Lake...it's a horrible thing to be alone in this. Dorothy

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    2. Hi, Dorothy. I just read this. I feel so badly for you being and feeling so isolated. I don't know what city you live in but most have gay community centers and some of those centers have counseling. Often this is on a siding scale if you don't have much money. They will listen to you, really. If you aren't comfortabe with that, then I would find a non-religious counsellor/psychologist. They will be empathetic and non-judgemental.
      Who you are and who you love is not a sin in any way, ever. Just reading tis now I am tearing up for you. Again, it depends on the size of your city but most cities have a gay center that might have groups for women, etc. Not everyone in the gay community will judge you and it might be worth reaching out.
      Please consider (non-religious) counseling. You will definitely have a listening ear there. I am going to put my blog information on here - if you click on my name - and feel free to write me there if you like (you can put a comment on put it won't be published, I would simply see it). I would be more than happy to e-mail bac and forth with you. I'm no expert but it might help you to feel a bit less alone.

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